Playing Roles

We learn a little more about the Russian imperial children – adult children – who will be on this Martian Holiday. There’s already drama from the youngest but they seem to be getting on. They’d better: trapped in a tin can for a week.

I’ve got a lot on my plate again for the second half of the summer, more of this story, finishing recording and editing of “Foes & Rivals,” as well as my podcasts. Going to my DayJob is now just an annoyance.

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Vodka and Caviar

Firstly, an apology: tomorrow’s Podcast will be delayed, likely until late Friday evening. I took notes about what I wanted to talk about and even took the laptop into the quiet corner of my basement to record… and sighed. Covering 4000 miles by plane and car over last weekend, then getting tossed into unexpected tasks at DayJob (a colleague was ill so I had to cover) meant that I’m just not up to what y’all hopefully expect of my weekly banter. Before moving on, I will leave you this: the topic is a question from a listener: “What if the [Machines] had been made in China?” I had a glib answer, but the more I thought about it, the more complicated the subject became, so look forward to my discussion later tomorrow!

In the meantime I introduce some new characters below the fold, as we get ready for this Martian Holiday.

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Along the Neva

After a very short flight, followed by a contested parking spot, Laszlo finds himself walking along the southern branch of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. I’ve never been there but have heard from many that it is a beautiful city. Someday, when my books are optioned into movies, I’ll take a chartered flight; commercial flights are more and more a dry-run for slavery.

As you will shortly see, the PM of Imperial Russia, Reina, stomps onto the stage. First among equals of tribe Mendrovovitch and possibly the most dangerous of all Machines, she also attacks my stories like kudzu: taking over and displacing everything which was already there. And from the last line below the fold, it seems she is in for most of this part of the novel. Oh, well. What can I do?

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Inspection

Just back from a grueling 3-day weekend: flight to St. George, Utah via Phoenix, followed by a 1944-mile drive back to central Ohio. All to retrieve Daughter #1 from her five week internship at Best Friends Animal Shelter. To her credit, she impressed them so much that they said they would hold a slot open for her next summer if she wants in. She is thinking about it. That’s my girl!

Below the fold is a short update to Prince Laszlo’s story. Knowing this would be a hard weekend, I only took a few notes and mostly watched the movies in my mind about what comes next. I think I saw about two chapters worth. This is going to be very political.

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Pub, Georgetown

While I had a little time to type while on vacation, it was still a vacation and I didn’t. However, that did not mean the movies didn’t keep playing into my mind. I’ll be playing catch-up for a week, interspersed with going into the basement for the audio recording of “Foes and Rivals.” It’s been nearly three weeks since I voiced those characters! I hope I remember what they sound like!

Below the fold, Robert and his centurion… well, they do not come clean with one another, but they are willing to be a little more truthful.

And I’ll let a small, pure white cat out of the bag: there’s a very interesting new secondary character making their debut in the next update. In the meantime, why not buy me a beer?

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Meeting Engagement

Wherein the speculatores discover that they are not the first to make contact with the fiefdom of John Carlyle of the great FLemingsburg valley.

In other news, RealLife is increasingly complicated. Daughter #2 has her last day of classes tomorrow then two days of finals. After that, her high school graduation is May 30th. The next day we depart for what may be the last family vacation for years, to get Daughter #1 to her internship in southern Utah. I’m bringing this laptop and hope to write while someone else is driving. Getting across the Great Plains takes forever.

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“It’s all a question of bridges” ~ Gen’l Browning

My hunch was correct: in eastern Kentucky, especially once you get up into the hills, the population has not really recovered from the Change, so almost no industry or trade. Centurion Panck Hill turns his team of speculatores north. But something seems to be in their way…

In other news, I’ve been approached for a series of book reviews and perhaps another author interview. I find such to be a waste of my time if they focus on me. To paraphrase Pope Pius XIII: “I am nothing; my stories are everything!” However, as Oscar Wilde observed, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

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A codger in Winchester, pt2

I think that there’s not much happening in Mount Sterling. First contact with a similar team of scouts from the Canadian army should happen in Flemingsburg. At some point I want to flesh out Centurion Hill’s character, as he’s the grandson of a man in a story which, while canonical, does not appear in the American Imperium trilogy.

If I can hack some of this pollen out of my throat, I’m hoping to record several “Foes & Rivals” chapters this weekend. If not, I’m back with Prince Robert and his story. I win either way.

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A codger in Winchester, pt1

Robert and his scrounger colleague, Jim Rockford, continue their walk about the small town. On the porch outside of the Bluegrass History Museum, they meet an old fellow in a mood to talk. Cigars and whiskey always make things better!

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Exposition in Winchester

Was at my DayJob the last four days then off the last two. The pollen here in central Ohio has irritated my throat so I could only record three chapters of “Foes and Rivals.” I will certainly not be done with that by our vacation departure the first week of June.

But will there be a vacation? Some false-flag pipeline BS in the SE US. Closing of the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi – with the possibility of that impacting ship traffic on the river which forms the backbone of America. The Covid political madness still in place. Maybe we will make it to south Utah. Maybe we’ll make it back. If things fall apart – and trust me, I know that can, FAST – then I’ll have to go full Mad Max to retrieve Daughter #1 from her internship.

In the meantime, in a story I’m not writing which is at 25k words, the intel team of which Prince Robert is just a cog starts off toward their first town of investigation.

I’ve also signed up with a new service and shall try to embed the link here. I’m not terribly good at these things.

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/machciv

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